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Scottish Potato Industry Unites to Fund Major Blackleg Research Project

A group of major potato businesses and public sector organizations, including the Scottish government and AHDB, is sponsoring a £242,000 (USD 313,000) research project aimed at reducing the impact of potato disease blackleg on the Scottish seed potato industry. AHDB and the Scottish government joint-funded a project during 2013-2016 which provided significant new information on blackleg and its origins. It also highlighted areas where further investigation is required for improved management of…

Ongoing monitoring program finds potato psyllids

University of Lethbridge biogeography professor Dr. Dan Johnson and his team have been monitoring Prairie potato fields for the past few years, looking for evidence of the potato psyllid insect and a bacterium it can carry that can lead to zebra chip disease in potato crops. So far in 2017, the number of potato psyllids has been lower than in previous years. U.S. researchers and research news also report lower numbers this…

Late blight confirmed in Manitoba

Late blight has been confirmed in Manitoba in the rural municipality of Norfolk Treherne, the south central potato growing region in the province. The region had heavy rains last week in the area. Leaf spot infections appear to be scattered close to the irrigation pivot. The infected leaf spots have sporulation and there are a few infected stems as well. Samples are being inspected for strain identification. According to Vikram Bisht, plant…

Late Blight and Potato Psyllids Both Detected in North Dakota

North Dakota State University (NDSU) plant pathologist Dr. Gary Secor announced July 27 that late blight was confirmed in a potato sample from Pembina County in northeast North Dakota. Since then it has been determined the outbreak is more widespread with finds in Walsh and Nelson Counties as well. Conditions have been favourable for late blight spread and infection, and growers in these areas should apply a late blight specialty fungicide such…

Protecting Your Stored Investment

The vast majority of potato producers have a good to excellent understanding of storage management guidelines. Still, every winter an unfortunate high number of producers face unnecessary stored tuber losses due to incorrect temperature and moisture management. For now, the best scientists are able to offer are strong and repeated reminders about the importance of managing one’s storage conditions. In the longer term, however, research may point toward ways to minimize and…

Late blight found in Ontario spore traps

Late blight was found yesterday (July 19) in the Delhi area, in a field with two spore traps.  There were only a few plants with dried up lesions. According to the grower, he had sprayed Curzate + Bravo + Copper as a preventative treatment. This week, spore traps caught late blight spores in the Shelburne, Alliston and Simcoe Delhi areas. It has been a very wet year so far, and it is…

National Potato Psyllid Monitoring Program

In 2016, the National Potato Psyllid Monitoring Program placed, picked up and examined 380 sampling cards in southern Alberta, with about 140 in the field. The program also received cards from Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. As of mid-June 2017, the program was just beginning to sample for this season, with four sampling cards on stakes at each of 40 sites in Alberta, and other…

Potato Pests Outlook 2017

By all accounts, the potato industry in Canada is a healthy one, and things are certainly looking up for 2017. But to get there, potato growers know they must deal with the inevitable snags that can arise during the growing season. Namely: potato pests, such as insects and diseases. Spud Smart reached out to some experts in the field in late June to determine what risks growers may face. Prince Edward Island…

Developing wireless sensor technologies to fight potato rot in storage facilities

In Idaho, potatoes are both a humble stereotype and a half-billion dollar crop. According to the Idaho Farm Bureau Federation, every spring farmers plant more than 320,000 acres of potatoes valued at between $550-$700 million. Yet unbeknownst to most consumers, roughly 30 per cent of the potatoes harvested spoil before they reach a grocery store shelf. Boise State University researchers Harish Subbaraman, David Estrada and Yantian Hou hope to change that. In…

Dickeya dianthicola found in Western Australia

Western Australia (WA) potato growers have been hit by a fresh disease scare, with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development warning farmers a new, aggressive bacteria had been detected. Department irrigated agriculture executive director John Ruprecht said the bacteria Dickeya dianthicola, which causes the diseases blackleg and soft rot, had been found in a commercial crop north of Perth. While the two diseases are already in Australia, it is the…

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